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“I’ve been here for four years and two months. I left Venezuela because of all the problems—it’s not a secret, all the political problems there. It was difficult to get medicine. It was difficult to find food. It was difficult to get transportation. We were in the thick of it and were like, ‘What are we doing here?’ so we moved.

 

I came to Catholic Charities, and they guided me through all the benefits after my asylum was approved. I started studying English and enrolled in an accounting program. Then I started vocational rehabilitation—it’s a program for people with disabilities—which helped me find a job. It’s a lot of benefits!

 

They’ve helped me to grow in this country because—I know it’s a little cliché to say but—it’s the American dream. They helped me with my studies and to find a job. I have a career here. Before I finished my accounting program, Yamilet called me and said, ‘I have a person who is interested in finding a person who studied accounting, so are you ready for this position?’ I go to the interview, and Yamilet went with me. She guided me through every step even after I got my job.

 

I am grateful because Catholic Charities has helped me to grow. I am grateful for all of the help and guidance they gave me!”

 

Ariana moved to Central Florida from Venezuela in 2018 and has been receiving assistance from Comprehensive Refugee Services (CRS). Additionally, she suffers from a rare disease that turns muscles, tendons, and ligaments into bone, so she is confined to a wheelchair. Thankfully, the specialists for her disease are in the U.S.